On economic strategy, Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin said that like Turkey, Pakistan needs economic growth which has been achieved through long-term economic policy.
Addressing a budget webinar in Islamabad, he said that apart from the 1960s, Pakistan has never had a sustainable economic policy.
“When I took over the portfolio, I added a few economists and there is an economic advisory council,” he said.
“I have asked other stakeholders, including the council, to find out why we do not have a sustainable economic policy and what economic losses it has suffered,” Tareen said.
He said that work is being done to rectify the flaws and this will be indicated in the report next week.
“I have asked the advisory council to work with the government in 12 areas,” the finance minister said.
“We have long-term and short-term policies, not enough resources to work together in all sectors,” he said.
Shaukat Tarin said that in the ’60s there was a Powerful Planning Commission and it had the status of the pillar of the government but later governments made the commission ineffective.
He said that extraordinary incentives would be given in the agricultural sector in the budget.
Stressing on the importance of exports, the Finance Minister said that exports were essential for sustainable development and important steps would be taken in this regard.
“We will provide incentives in sector services and make e-commerce more sustainable through digitization,” he said.
The Finance Minister said that all our attention is focused on improving the growth rate.
He also said that if Prime Minister Imran Khan made big decisions for the economy, the economy would face a severe crisis.
He said that priority measures have been taken to increase the value of the rupee.
He added that more than 40 industries related to the construction sector were also activated.
The Finance Minister said that this International Monetary Fund (IMF) program was very difficult, when inflation was 7% then the discount rate was increased to 13.25%.
“The fact is that I have a problem with the program because the discount rate does not actually control the price of essential commodities,” he said.
Shaukat Tarin said that billions of dollars were lost to the national exchequer because of that.
The Finance Minister said that the rupee had depreciated and electricity tariffs had been drastically increased to reduce the revolving credit.
He said that when the growth rate declined and then after the COVID-19 pandemic, the growth rate entered negative.
Shaukat Tarin said that during this period, the government distributed cash among the needy and deserving people under the Ehsaas program.
He said that the government gave importance to the construction sector and thus economic activities were restored in more than 40 industries connected with this sector.
He said that in this way the economy started recovering a bit, the current account deficit stopped and it is in surplus in recent years but economic growth remained negative.
Shaukat Tarin said that business activities started in major industries this year and exports improved.
He said that apart from cotton, all agricultural products and housing sector as well as services sector have improved significantly.
The Finance Minister said that the tax collection agency in Pakistan collected Rs 41.43 trillion in the first 11 months of the current financial year, which is the highest in history.